Heineken Cup Final Preview
This is my Heineken Cup final preview; Toulon will face Saracens in Cardiff on May 24th. Both teams will fancy their chances of turning the other side over and will go hell for leather to win this one. Toulon will want to defend the title they won back in May 2013. Both sides are littered with International stars of the World game. On the Saracens side you have Brits, Farrell, Ashton and both the Vunipola’s Mako and Billy. On the Toulon side you have real quality with Wilkinson, Botha , Rossouw , Smith , Habana and the Armitage brothers Steffon and Delon.
Both sides are well coached by Bernard Laporte and Mark Mc Call , Mc Call has already won this competition as a head coach back in 1999 with Ulster so he will have no fears about facing Toulon. His Saracens side will be well prepared for this one as this is their first European final and that may also play into Toulon hands because of their previous final experience in both the Amlin and Heineken Cup finals of 2010 and 2013.
I just feel after both sides respective semi-finals where Munster ran Toulon so close and Saracens dispatched Clermont with such ruthless aggression that this final is set up to be a classic and a fitting way to bring the curtain down on this competition as we know it. Can Toulon do what Leicester Tigers did back in 2001 and 2002 and win back to back titles or will Saracens and there wolfpack defence led by Jacques Burger seize the day and win a first European crown for Saracens.
Owen Farrell and Jonny Wilkinson will have major roles to play in their team’s quest for victory. As it stands Wilkinson leads the one on one match ups 1-0 after handing Farrell a lesson in the 2013 semi final. Can Farrell redress the balance and make it 1-1 before Wilkinson hangs up his boots.
For me I just think Toulon may just have too much for Saracens on the day and could do the double and win a 2nd European crown in a row. I am going to but my neck on the line and say Toulon will win this won by 30-18. Toulon’s experience in European final to be the difference.
Cian Mc Gibney.